Morning Headlines: Gannet, GateHouse Shareholders Approve Merger; Browns Brawl Overshadows Win

Nov 15, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, Nov. 15:

  • Gannet, GateHouse shareholders approve merger;
  • Browns brawl overshadows win against Steelers;
  • Governor: Ohio plan to clean Lake Erie will work, take time;
  • Uber, Lyft urge Ohio to resume requiring front license plate;
  • City, county to pay $1.3M to man after conviction overturned;
  • Police find motive in Canton teen shooting;
  • Cleveland finds new headquarters for police station;

Gannet, GateHouse approve merger deal
Gannet and GateHouse Media shareholders have approved a roughly $1.2 billion merger that forms the largest U.S. newspaper company. It will own more than a half dozen newspapers in Northeast Ohio, including The Akron Beacon Journal, The Canton Repository and The Record-Courier in Kent. The new company — run by GateHouse’s management under Gannett’s name — will be under pressure to find up to $300 million in annual savings within the first two years of the deal.

Browns brawl overshadows win against Steelers
The Browns were seconds away from a season-changing win when Myles Garrett lost his composure in a moment of rage rarely seen on an NFL field. Garrett tore off Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet, wildly swung it and hit the QB in the head, which will likely result in a lengthy suspension for Cleveland’s star defensive end. The incident overshadowed Cleveland’s 21-7 win over the Steelers last night to improve to 4-6 on the season.

Governor: Ohio plan to clean Lake Erie will work, take time
Ohio’s governor is laying out a broad plan to combat the toxic algae plaguing Lake Erie and said the plan will work, but not overnight. Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday the state’s new strategy will focus on reducing agriculture runoff that feeds the algae by offering farmers financial incentives to change their practices. DeWine said the changes won’t be mandatory, but he thinks farmers will buy in because of the incentives and some of the new practices that will save them money. He said it’s the first time the state has taken such a comprehensive approach. Ohio lawmakers this summer approved spending $172 million over the next two years on water quality improvements. Details about how the money will be spent will be announced in the coming months.

Uber, Lyft urge Ohio to resume requiring front license plate
Two rideshare companies are urging Ohio to resume requiring front license plates. Uber and Lyft submitted letters Thursday to Republican Senate President Larry Obhof in support of legislation that would again make it mandatory for Ohio drivers to affix license plates to both the front and back of their vehicles. The companies cite safety concerns. Both urge their riders to confirm the license plate number on a phone app before entering a rideshare vehicle. A 21-year-old University of South Carolina student was murdered earlier this year by the driver of a car she mistakenly thought was an Uber vehicle. A provision removing Ohio’s front plate requirement was included in the state transportation budget passed earlier this year. It is set to take effect in July.

City, county to pay $1.3M to man after conviction overturned
Cleveland and Cuyahoga County have agreed to pay a total of $1.3 million to a man who spent 23 years in prison for a 1995 murder conviction that was overturned when DNA evidence pointed to another suspect. A judge dismissed Evin King’s conviction in 2017. A lawsuit claimed Cleveland police fabricated statements from King implying he knew the location of a woman’s body in 1994. There was no physical evidence presented at trial connecting King, 62, to the slaying.

Police find motive in Canton teen shooting
Police said they’ve found a motive in the execution style slaying earlier this year of a Canton teen. They said a 13 year-old boy shot Sylvia McGee, 14, because he believed a false rumor the girl was pregnant and thought he was the father. The now 14-year-old boy pleaded guilty to murder Wednesday in Stark County Juvenile Court. An autopsy after the March 30 slaying showed she wasn’t pregnant. Authorities said there’s no evidence other than the pregnancy rumor to indicate why Sylvia was killed. Sentencing is scheduled for January.

Cleveland finds new headquarters for police station
Cleveland has decided on a new location for its police headquarters. Construction on a 10-acre property in the Kinsman neighborhood could begin in 2021. The location is part of the city’s Opportunity Corridor project which is expected to be completed around the same time. A price tag was not revealed, but the city will use $60 million in bond funds for the location. The city last year sold the former police headquarters to the county for $9 million and has been leasing the space.